Building Trust : Talking smack about your competitor

speak no evilNow that we’ve established that building trust is best done with the small things like being a little tidy, and giving credit where credit is due, lets talk about when it’s okay to talk smack.


When you and your buddies get together and start talking about other musicians, other engineers, other experiences in the studio, be careful what you say about people that you have worked for in the past. I’ll tell you why.

Whether you know it or not, you are setting yourself up for failure by talking about another person’s weak points.

When you talk about how bad someone sings, how bad someone mixes or plays, you may think that you are making yourself look better, but what you’re doing is you’re showing your client how you are going to talk about them behind their back. That’s no way to build someone’s trust.

The best thing to do in a situation like this, first of all, is to try not to engage in the conversation at all. If you are asked to join in, try to defend the other person if it’s possible.

If your client is talking down  about their previous engineer’s horrible snare drum sound, maybe you could say “Hey guys, sometimes, it is really hard to get a snare drum to sound good. I know what he’s going through I have been through it myself”.

If you can take the high road and try to defend even people who are competing against you, maybe they will defend you the next time YOU have a bad snare day.  At the very least, you can rest at night knowing you’ve done the right thing.

Question: What’s a creative way to avoid “talking smack” and losing trust?


  1. Wonderful Kevin!

    To not talk bad behind someone’s back should be a rule in any situation.

  2. Well said!

    Man, on a side note, that Personne with the silly review is a perfect example of getting burned for playing with fire.

    We need to pray for people trying to cause damage to others; they need GOD.

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